As thousands of children head back to school, Inter-Faith Food Shuttle is gearing up for a full year of making sure that as many kids as possible have enough food to eat. With the launch of the Child Food Hub in September 2018, https://www.foodshuttle.org/blog/2018/10/1/new-child-food-hub-to-help-make-sure-kids-wont-go-hungry there is a planned increased to provide 2,900 children each week with BackPack Buddies bags so they’ll have food to eat over the weekend.
Also, 28 schools in Wake, Durham, Johnston and Edgecombe counties will operate School Pantries to ensure that students and staff have access to free, nutritious food to feed their families. Students are heading back to school, but the bottom line is: if you’re hungry, you can’t learn.
Programs like BackPack Buddies and School Pantries do the heavy lifting in the fight against of childhood hunger in our school communities. The numbers are daunting: 1 in 5 children in North Carolina is at risk of hunger and 181,000 students in Wake County schools are on free and reduced lunch.
In late August our community rallied together to support these students. Inter-Faith Food Shuttle partnered with WNCN, CBS17 to spread the word about the efforts being made to ensure that children have access to the nutritious food they need so that they can succeed in school. CBS17 spent a week highlighting Food Shuttle programs that are specifically geared toward children’s nutrition and education, beginning with the Child Food Hub and BackPack Buddies, and moving on through Urban Agricultural Education at Camden Street Learning Garden, the Mobile Tastiness Machine and our partnership with area schools and School Pantries. Each news segment ended with the news anchors directing viewers to an Inter-Faith Food Shuttle donation page on the CBS17 website.
In addition, the Wednesday noon news featured an interview with Child Hunger Program Manager Amber Simmons who spoke about BackPack Buddies and how the program has grown to serve over 80 schools in the area. Amber summed up the program, “BackPack Buddies is for those elementary school children who apply for free and reduced lunch and who are at risk of going hungry over the weekend. We are able to provide them with six balanced meals and two snacks to get them over the hump of the weekend and saying ‘Where am I going to get my food from next?’”
Plus, Robin Madison, Development Relations Manager, was interviewed for the CBS17 digital site and had the chance to talk about the Mobile Tastiness Machine and the myriad ways the community can support the efforts of Inter-Faith Food Shuttle.
To give a gift to support Back to School programs, please visit www.foodshuttle.org/back2school